Ten teams confirmed for World Cup; more to come Friday?

Fire midfielder Dax McCarty made his first career appearance in World Cup Qualifying action Friday night, playing the final 33 minutes of the U.S. Men's National Team's critical 4-0 win over Panama at Orlando City Stadium.

Defeat would have left the USA on the brink of elimination and even a tie would have raised serious concerns that its streak of seven straight World Cup appearance could come to an end.

Bobby Wood also scored in the 63rd minute.

But minutes before the end of the first half, the USA put the game on ice thanks to a powerful, clinical move from Wood. After that display, the players and fans should feel great about their chances.

The US was expected to cruise to its eighth straight World Cup.

It was a banner night for the Americans, who jumped out to an early lead in front of the sold-out crowd of 25,303.

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Borussia Dortmund starlet Pulisic opened the scoring in the eighth minute with a stunning finish from a tight angle before the 19-year-old provided the assist for Jozy Altidore 11 minutes later.

If it were to defeat Panama on Friday, and Trinidad and Tobago four days later, it would nearly certainly have punched its ticket for Russia-with only unlikely scenarios of Honduras making up at least a 9 goal differential in two games remaining a variable.

Pulisic "is a star", said right back DeAndre Yedlin. We're not depending on other teams to win games to help us. It shows a lot about his qualities as a player, and what he's doing is fantastic.

The U.S. has to "prepare like they're a team that's going to play to beat us", Arena said.

Cameron played a full match for Stoke in Saturday's 2-1 win over Southampton, his first action since injuring a hamstring against Manchester United on September 9. Panama worked the ball well from left to right before Gabriel Torres rifled a shot that the veteran netminder pushed away.

Altidore then made it 3-0 just before the half, chipping in a penalty kick for his 41st global goal.

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Altidore stepped up to take the ensuing kick from the spot, and converted coolly with a panenka that fooled Penedo.

Over the course of Arena's second coaching reign, the guesswork has spread to goalkeeper, a position that, historically here and overseas, has a definitive hierarchy and stokes little conjecture. With soccer still being a new sport in America, they need to grab the attention of people before the rapid rise of soccer loses momentum.

He put the USMNT up 1-0 five minutes later with this goal, in which he almost breaks the sound barrier by scampering past four defenders faster than can be easily comprehended on first viewing, then rounds the keeper and scores.

Panama hasn't forgotten about that night. Panama responded by increasing their physical play, including a couple quick fouls on Pulisic, which led head coach Bruce Arena to wisely sub him out for precautionary reasons.

"It was a good win for our team", manager Arena said afterwards. "Not just the three points, but the performance and the goal difference". "I was able to play off those guys, they had some great layoffs to me".

Provided Panama manage to register a win against the US and Honduras lose against Costa Rica, then they are assured of making their World Cup debut in Russian Federation next summer. Hundreds of nations all over the world compete for a place in the quadrennial competition, but only a select few advance through the long journey that is World Cup qualifying.

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